MN Cup 2017 Semifinalists!

Tue, 05/30/2017

MINNEAPOLIS—MAY 30, 2017 Statewide entrepreneurial competition MN Cup announced today it has advanced 80 teams of Minnesota-based entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators to the semifinals of the 2017 competition. In its thirteenth year, the MN Cup is giving away a record $450,000 in total prize money. 

The following semifinalists from eight divisions will compete for a share of the $450,000 in prize money, as well as the training and support to help make their entrepreneurial ideas a reality:


Energy/Clean Tech/Water


Food/Ag/Beverage


General


High Tech

Impact Ventures


Life Science/Health IT


Student

Youth

  • BelMaugh, LLC, Ramsey County
  • Chatter, Ramsey County, minority-led
  • Crimson Café, Hennepin County, minority-led
  • Eye on Walleye, Hennepin County, woman-led
  • Green Garden Bakery, Hennepin County, woman-led, minority-led
  • Hidden Gem, Inc., Ramsey County, minority-led
  • Peacebunny Island, Meeker County
  • Pocket Pollinator, Hennepin County, woman-led, minority-led
  • Versital, Hennepin County, minority-led
  • Via, Olmsted County, woman-led, minority-led


The big news for this year’s competition — MN Cup is celebrating a record number of applications by minority-led teams. Out of the 520 teams in the 2017 competition, 29 percent are led by minorities, and 37 percent are led by women. In total, 1,280 creators, dreamers, and innovators from around Minnesota have sought out MN Cup to help them down the road to entrepreneurial success. Participation is also record breaking for our youngest business-builders, with a new high — 12 percent of the teams are led by students.

Applications for the 2017 MN Cup competition opened on March 20 and closed on April 28, giving entrants seven weeks to complete an entry form about their business idea, detailing three key sections: opportunity, plan and progress. Teams compete in one of eight divisions: Energy/Clean Tech/Water, Food/Agriculture/Beverage, General, High Tech, Life Science/Health IT, Impact Ventures, Student (for enrolled grad school or undergrad students ages 19-30) and Youth (age 18 and younger). Those who advanced to the semifinalists level will meet with experienced mentors throughout the summer to craft detailed business plans.

Three finalists from each division will be chosen to present final business plans in August. Winners from each of the eight divisions will be announced in late summer. Each division runner-up will receive $5,000, while division winners receive $30,000 and a shot at the $50,000 grand prize and $20,000 second prize.  The Youth division will award a total prize of $20,000 — the first place winner will receive $10,000, and the second and third place winners and semifinalists will divide up the remaining funds.  Competitors in every division are also eligible to win dedicated prizes, including from The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Carlson Family Foundation, Meda and DEED, Securian Financial Group, Capella and AARP.

At the MN Cup awards celebration on October 9 at the University of Minnesota, one will be chosen as 2017’s best breakthrough business idea. More than 13,000 Minnesotans have participated in MN Cup since it began. Finalists have gone on to raise more than $230 million in capital to support the development of their ideas, create jobs, and broker numerous business partnerships, collaborations and distribution agreements.